Twitter is a powerful community management tool. Twitter, as a micro blogging service, enables people to spread information and thoughts fast on the web. Therefore, this is information to set up a community management strategy to connect with customers and solve problems and brand manage online brand reputation.
On a customer relationship management point of view, banks have always been able to set up powerful CRM systems, and therefore, it makes a lot of sense for them to follow the Twitter hype. First National Bank (FNB) might not be the first bank to own a Twitter account, but their story on it is pretty interesting.
They've created the RBJacobs account, which represents the bank. What is interesting in this case, is that the company has decided not to use directly the bank, but someone that imperson the bank. Why? Maybe to acknowledge the personnal speech versus the corporate message, which we all know is very strict in the bank industry. Or simply also because big companies don't own a great public image, and it could be better for them to aboad their customer relationship with a "somewhat" third party...
Also, an interesting quote :
“Some commentators are suggesting that Twitter could turn out to be a passing fad. However, in South Africa it's still in its infancy and FNB is deriving great benefit and insight by participating in this community,” adds Wertheim-Aymes.
Hence, FNB acknowledge that Twitter is still a hype, and it is yet to be embraced by the mass market. Nevertheless, they decided to get into the conversation, and test it before it spreads out. I actually believe this is a good strategy, as ways to use Twitter are emerging every day.